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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

The Cyprus issue is at a critical point, Dimitriou and Stefanou said

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Σε κρλσιμο ση&mu ;εοΚρικΔμητροκ ;αι Στεφàνου

On June 13 and 14, the University of Nicosia hosted a conference to mark the 50th anniversary of the coup and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Entitled "50 Years After the Coup and the Turkish Invasion– An intra-Greek assessment and the next day», the conference brought together academics, researchers, and political analysts from Greece and Cyprus.

The conference ended on Friday evening with a round table discussion, in which Annita Dimitriou, President of the House of Representatives and President of DISY, Stefanos Stefanou, Secretary General of AKEL and the Negotiator of the Greek Cypriot side, Menelaos Menelaou.

The President of the House mentioned that it is fifty years since the Turkish invasion, and she stated that we are now at a critical point in solving the Cyprus problem, especially considering the effort of the Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary General. He also said that efforts to find a solution must be intensified, noting the desire for an immediate resolution. According to the Speaker of the Parliament, the existing status quo is not sustainable for either the Greek Cypriots or the Turkish Cypriots.

Mrs. Dimitriou expressed her concerns about the current impasse and Turkey's positions, noting the need to intercept Turkish actions, giving as an example the efforts in the besieged city of Varosia and the possible attempt to annex the occupied territories. He said that tectonic changes in the international arena could open new avenues for talks if we take advantage of the current moment. He noted the importance of realizing that security cannot be taken for granted and highlighted the continued violation of international authorities in Cyprus, as well as Europe's new energy challenges, which can form the basis for a new effort.

"Instead of constantly pointing out what we don't want", Ms. Dimitriou suggested that we consciously state what we seek. She explained her party's (DISY) vision for a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal solution, with an emphasis on the functionality of the solution model through the balance between the central state and federated states. The solution must be without winners and losers, and include the return of Morphou and the Varosians, a fair settlement of property and freedom of movement, work and residence throughout Cyprus, he indicated.

He concluded by welcoming the international interest in the Cyprus issue and emphasized the need to exploit the energy framework, underlining the creation of the appropriate ground for the new round of talks.

The General Secretary of AKEL expressed his satisfaction with the title of the conference, which speaks of an intra-Greek approach, stressing that the Greek Cypriot side also bears responsibilities, without, however, hiding Turkey's responsibilities. He said that in 1960 the two communities agreed to a bi-communal state, which implied co-administration. Par' all this neither side believed in it. In his speech, Mr. Stefanou made a self-criticism about the mistakes of the Greek Cypriot side during the period 1963-1974, also referring to the behind-the-scenes agreements between Turkey and Greece. Especially about the 1974 coup and the Turkish invasion, he said that the coup made it easier for Turkey and added that during the invasion the Turks developed undisturbed, citing what the KYPE correspondent in Istanbul, Anna Andreou, wrote in her book.

Mr. Stefanou warned that time is not on our side and that as time passes, new facts are created. He stated that we are in seven years of stagnation and that the international actor is tired. He also noted that the Greek Cypriot side does not inspire credibility, as it is attributed to the failure of the Crans Montana talks. He proposed resuming the negotiations from where they were interrupted in Crans Montana, stressing the importance of maintaining convergences and making special reference to the Guterres framework. Mr. Stefanou argued that initiatives must be taken to overcome the situation of frustration and mentioned that AKEL has submitted a proposal.

Finally, he warned that if there is no mobilization, the stalemate will continue and that the international factor it can look for other solutions or third parties will propose ideas, such as the British proposals introduced in the past.

The Greek Cypriot negotiator in his intervention emphasized that the Crans Montana process was an unfinished effort, although important achievements and convergences were secured that secured essential aspects of the Cypriot. These convergences created conditions for a governance based on political and not on national divisive criteria. Mr. Menelaus underlined that the federation is not divisive in itself, on the contrary, divisive elements existed in the unified state of Cyprus. Subsequently, Mr. Menelaus reviewed the developments in the Cyprus issue, as well as the political developments in Greece and Turkey during the period 2019-2024. In addition, he referred to the package of measures of the Cypriot government for the Turkish Cypriots and described the actions of the Greek Cypriot side in the diplomatic field for the Cyprus issue.

Mr. Menelaus noted that the positive developments in Greek-Turkish relations directly affect the Cyprus issue and the opposite. He expressed his concern about the attitude of Turkey, which he accused of trying to impose its own positions on the issue. He emphasized that unresolved international problems, such as the Cyprus issue, are a threat to peace and that the ongoing impasse creates a fake image of normalcy.

According to Mr. Menelaus, the solution to the Cyprus issue is a one-way street and must build on the UN resolutions and the conditions and convergences already achieved. He concluded his intervention by pointing out the need to resume negotiations with the aim of a sustainable and fair solution.

Source: KYPE

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